Thoughts On 125 Weeks of Sobriety & Freedom

It’s hard to believe that this amazing journey is still rolling along, making one day without drinking was a big thing for me at the time, to make it through to 125 weeks and still be dry, is an unbelievable feeling.  I guess if you have crawled out of a similar bottle, you may understand this, if not maybe you really don’t quite comprehend the importance of little milestones like this, to somebody like me.

For me I look back and I see that 875 times now, I’ve woken with clarity.  When I was drinking I believed I had got to a certain point ,that I could pretty much drink anything I wanted and I still wouldn’t feel drunk, I would go to bed in control and wake without even having a hangover.

But it’s not until after a while of waking with that clarity, that comes with the senses not being numbed by alcohol, that you realise that actually you were a permanent walking hangover, it was just the norm, how you lived your life.  My senses seemed so much clearer after I stopped, I felt more alert, more alive and far less fuzzy.  Yes, when you look back, there was a state of fuzziness that I walked in, no great headache or sickness, but a fuzzy, clouded feeling and it was there all the time.

There is also the financial status, it’s no secret how bad a hole I got into with my finances, I owed money everywhere and yet still, in my trapped mind, I managed to find on average £119 a week, to feed my deep routed habit, when I wasn’t working, I don’t know how I kept that going, I let go of a lot of things, things I loved dearly and wish I had back, but I never let go of my habit, it’s my biggest regret, I didn’t care enough about those around me to see how big a mess I was making, not just for myself, but for my partner and my kids, it was a mess all around.

Yet the drinking pulled me away from all that, it sheltered me or at least in my fuzzy mind it did, it’s stopped me facing all the fallout from my habit, until it was too late that is.

You can only go on like this for so long, at some point it’s all going to crash down around you and eventually it did.

It was 892 days ago that I found it was time, to end it or mend it.  That Sunday morning I looked myself in the eye and didn’t like what I was seeing, things with Victoria had blown up in my face just five days before and I was ready for out.  Looking at a dead soul in the mirror, scrolling through every thought in my mind that I wasn’t worth anything to anyone, the penknife in my hand was poised over my of the wrist, ready, waiting.  Then a voice in my head spoke louder than the demons, telling me there was still something to live for, my kids needed a father regardless, not the memory of the mess they were about to find.  That day I walked away from that mirror, hating myself for simply not having the courage to live, yet not even having the courage to die, I felt in a state of nothingness.

That was the last day I brought alcohol into the house, my last evening of the drink binge I had been on since that talk with Victoria.  The next day I phone Gareth, I knew only one way out of this, get help and Gareth, the Senior Pastor at my Church, was the man I turned to.  We had met a few times through Victoria, but I didn’t really know him, but it felt like that I was being drawn to do, to ask him for help.  He answered my call and came around later that evening and I told him the whole sorry tale, the healing process started, I still hated myself and I was determined to change that.

Of the alcohol I brought into the house the night before, there remained about a third of a bottle of wine.  That remained on top of my fringe from that morning I called Gareth.  I walked passed that bottle for the next week, each time I looked at it as I went by, I talked to it too.

Maybe that seems a little crazy, but I would tell it that it didn’t own me anymore, I was no longer under it’s control, I was fighting back and I had a plan for it.  It seems funny now, but I remember so many times that week, walking by it, waving a finger at it, telling this bottle I had a plan for it.

That plan I carried out 879 days ago, I took that bottle and gave it pride of place in a box.  I placed it carefully, still containing that third of it’s original contents, on top of all the remnants of a life I no longer wanted part of.  There it lays still, placed on top of the clothes and other bit that smelled of stale alcohol and sweat, that I no longer wanted, I was free of them and all I wanted to do was box them up and put them where we keep all things we are done with, in the cellar, there they remain gathering dust to this day.

Then 875 days ago, 125 weeks, I made a decision that I still never expected that morning when I woke.  That evening as I walked to the pub, I made a declaration that if I don’t like the taste of the first pint, that was it I was finished.  That first pint tasted absolutely awful, usually the first drink tastes so good, it satisfies a craving, but this one, I don’t know why, but it was bad.  I finished it and that was the very last drink I had, 875 days ago.

Then the Sunday following that epic Thursday evening, I walked into Church, the first time I had ever gone to Church because I wanted to, because I needed to for myself, the process of healing had well and truly started.

I don’t still find it hard to believe all these pieces of a puzzle that came together to make this journey, these thoughts along the way, they weren’t mine and at the time I didn’t understand them or why I was doing these things, but they felt right, they were frightening, but at the same time felt safe, they felt like the right thing to do.

In those 125 weeks, there have been some amazing times and experiences, but it’s not all been plain sailing, at times it’s not been easy, the withdrawals, a brush with depression and I still have to live with the financial fallout of my habit, plus each day I live with the one thing I regret losing most.

But having considered all that I lost, none of that comes close to what I actually found, when I realised I couldn’t go on like this anymore and submitted myself in my weakness to God and prayed for strength.  Did I expect an answer that night, I don’t actually think I did, but when I woke the next morning, I knew He was with me and guiding me, I can’t praise Him enough for what he did for a loser like me, I may never understand why, but I will never forget it.

If any song speaks of those weeks from the day I looked deep into that mirror until the day I walked into Church, this one says it all, it feel’s like I’m born again.

BORN AGAIN by THIRD DAY with LACEY STURM
Today I found myself
After searching all these years
And the man that I saw, he wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be
I was lost when you found me here
And I was broken beyond repair
Then you came along and you sang your song over me

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time
In my life

Make a promise to me now
Reassure my heart somehow
That the love that I feel is so much more real than anything
I’ve a feeling in my soul
And I pray that I’m not wrong
That the life I have now, it is only the beginning

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time
It feels like I’m breathing
It feels like I’m moving
For the very first time
For the very first time

I wasn’t looking for something that was more
Than what I had yesterday
Then you came to me and you gave to me
Life and a love that I’ve never known
That I’ve never felt before

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
I’m living for the first time
It feels like I’m breathing
It feels like I’m moving
For the very first time
I’m living for the first time
In my life

8 thoughts on “Thoughts On 125 Weeks of Sobriety & Freedom

  1. leftnfree

    I have had the privilege of watching you grow over the last year or so and it has been such an amazing thing to watch. God is redeeming you and He is restoring and reclaiming your life. I praise God for you daily as I pray for you. May God continue to bring healing to all the wounded places and may God bring you and overflow of Joy unending. Keep walking and surrendering day by day

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      I have to thank you for all your encouraging comments over the last year, I may not reply to everyone, but I do read and appreciate each and everyone of them.
      Once again, thank you so much for all your support.
      Wayne

      Reply
  2. Hodgepodge 4 the Soul

    I’m celebrating with you! And you have no idea how much I can relate to you this. And how much the Lord has used you to help me look myself in the mirror. I’m so glad you’re here. And I pray that God restores to you all that you are asking Him for.

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Thank you so much, I still find it amazing the way the Lord uses things to speak into my life, I am honoured that He uses my writing to help others and glad you have found something through my writing.
      Once again, thank you
      God Bless
      Wayne

      Reply
  3. tamarknochel

    That was such a wonderful testimony! Thank you ever so much for sharing it! I’ve just come to accept that my husband is truly struggling with an addiction is beyond his control and reading this helps me to better understand what he’s dealing with, even though his addiction isn’t to alcohol. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Hi Tamar
      Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m sorry to hear about your husband, but I’m glad you have for some help in my writing and my testimony. The sad thing I found is you can only start the healing process when you admit you have a problem and you can’t do it on your own anymore, it has to come from within to seek help. Both you and your husband are in my prayers and I pray God helps you both find that breakthrough.
      God bless you both
      Wayne

      Reply

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